Esterhuizen stars as Harlequins edge Gloucester
PREMIERSHIP WRAP: Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen picked up another man-of-the-match award as Harlequins edged Gloucester 20-17 at Kingsholm on Sunday.
Trailing by 10 points midway through the second quarter, Harlequins drew level by half-time before taking charge during the second period.
Luke Northmore and Danny Care scored tries for Harlequins, while flyhalf Marcus Smith kicked two penalties and two conversions.
Gloucester posted a first-half try through Ruan Ackermann, with Adam Hastings adding a conversion and penalty.
But they could not get going in the second half, even though Santiago Socino’s late score that Lloyd Evans converted secured a losing bonus point.
Esterhuizen produced another powerful performance in the midfield for Harlequins. He carried the ball 15 times and gained 80 metres on the field.
He made two clean breaks and beat eight defenders in the match.
Elsewhere on Sunday, English Premiership leaders Leicester made it 11 successive top-flight wins as they powered to 31-0 demolition of Newcastle at Welford Road.
The Tigers turned on the style to extend their winning streak to 16 matches in all competitions.
A dominant pack and accurate kicking from halfbacks George Ford and Ben Youngs were the major factors in Leicester’s victory.
Dan Kelly, Matt Scott, George Martin and Harry Potter scored tries for Leicester, with Ford kicking three conversions and a penalty. Freddie Burns added a conversion.
Newcastle’s fullback Mike Brown made his 250th Premiership appearance, becoming only the sixth player in the league’s history to reach that milestone.
Alex Lozowski inspired Saracens to a 30-6 victory over Northampton that cemented second place.
Lozowski crossed in the 45th minute to land a decisive blow at Franklin’s Gardens and the former England centre also landed three penalties and three conversions, lifting his individual total to 20 points.
Late tries by Tom Woolstencroft and Maro Itoje underlined Saracens’ superiority.
There was more good news for Saracens as England hooker Jamie George made a successful comeback from a knee injury ahead of the Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 5.
The scores and scorers
Leicester Tigers 31-0 Newcastle
Tries: Kelly, Scott, Martin, Potter
Cons: Ford 3, Burns
For Newcastle: None
Gloucester 17-20 Harlequins
Tries: Ackermann, Socino
Cons: Hastings, Evans
Tries: Northmore, Care
Cons: Smith 2
Pens: Smith 2
Northampton Saints 6-30 Saracens
Pens: Biggar 2
Tries: Lozowski, Woolstencroft, Itoje
Cons: Lozowski 3
Pens: Lozowski 3
Additional source: AFP